EU awards Switzerland top marks for innovation

Switzerland remains the leading European country for innovation performance. This is a finding of the Innovation Scoreboard compiled by the European Union (EU). The EU rates Switzerland’s research system and high level of research investment particularly highly.

The EU rates Switzerland’s research system particularly highly. Image Credit: Università della Svizzera italiana

According to the EU‘s Innovation Scoreboard, Switzerland is once more the most innovative country in Europe. The European Commission rated Switzerland’s innovation performance at 171 points in relation to the EU average of 100 points. Over the past eight years, Switzerland has therefore continually expanded its lead in this regard.

Attractive research systems

Switzerland scores particularly well in terms of the attractiveness of its research systems – for this innovation dimension, Switzerland received a score of 207.9 points. According to the results, this can be attributed to its international networking. In this context, Switzerland performed particularly well for international scientific co-publications as well as the number of foreign doctorate students.

Huge human resources

Switzerland also received an impressive score of 195.5 points in the area of human resources. According to the results, this is due to the many new doctorate graduates in addition to the proportion of the population with tertiary education. Moreover, Switzerland did exceptionally well in terms of lifelong learnings.

High level of firm investments in research

At 175 points, Switzerland also performs well in terms of firm investments in research and development. Companies in Switzerland not only invest huge sums in innovation, they also offer employees comprehensive ICT training. The report also highlighted the good collaborations between enterprises and research institutes.

Zurich is the most innovative region in Europe

The European Commission published an additional report on innovation performance of individual European regions. Switzerland occupies the top two places in these rankings: Zurich was rated as the most innovative region across Europe as a whole, while Ticino took second place. However, other Swiss regions were included in the top ten, including Eastern Switzerland (6), Northwest Switzerland (7), Central Switzerland (8) and the Lake Geneva Region (10). The report states that this proves that most innovative countries are also home to the most innovative regions.

Europe overtakes the USA

In its innovation reports, the EU investigates the third countries Switzerland, Norway and Serbia in addition to EU member states. Within the EU, Sweden was innovation leader for 2019, followed by Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands. According to the report, European innovation performance has improved over the past decade. For the first time, Europe has overtaken the USA in terms of innovation performance, the report states.

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